WHIPPANY, N. J. – Ukrainian American Veterans Post 17 celebrated Christmas at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey in Whippany on December 18. The festivities were organized and presided over by Post Commander Walter Kovbasniuk, who recognized several prominent guests, among them Dr. Olexander Ilchyk, who is starting a two-year residency in the United States studying battlefield medicine to provide care to Ukrainian army casualties conducting anti-terrorist operations (ATO) in eastern Ukraine,. Mr. Kovbasniuk presented a commemorative Ukrainian American Veterans coin to Roma Hadzewycz, editor-in-chief of The Ukrainian Weekly and Svoboda, for her continuing support of the organization’s efforts. The Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV) organization was represented by, among others, Michael Hrycak and Andrew Hadzewycz, commander and vice-commander, respectively, of the UAV New Jersey Department, as well as Ihor Rudko, commander of the UAV Connecticut Department and Post Commander Walter Kovbasniuk, Post 17 (Whippany). Mr. Hrycak shared some memories of a Christmas he shared with fellow soldiers in Iraq 10 years ago, which included a fellow United States Military Academy classmate (class of 1981) of Mark “Franko” Paslawsky (who was killed in action during the battle of Ilovaysk on August 19, 2014, as member of the Donbas Battalion), emphasizing that all veterans are lucky to be with their families this Christmas.